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Environment: Colorado Supreme Court OKs GMO food labeling ballot initiative

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Decision clears way for statewide petition drive

Staff Report

FRISCO — Coloradans will likely have a chance to vote on new labeling requirements for genetically modified foods in November, after the Colorado Supreme Court this week rejected a challenge to the proposed ballot initiative.

The court’s decision will enable backers to start gathering the signatures needed to add the measure to the ballot.

“We are pleased that the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the GMO labeling ballot title, and we look forward to bringing a GMO labeling initiative before the voters of Colorado this fall,” said Right to Know Colorado organizer Larry Cooper.

In giving a green light to the ballot title, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected a challenge from  mainstream biotech, pesticide and grocery interests. The Right to Know Colorado campaign can now begin circulating petitions to the required 86,105 signatures needed to get the initiative on the ballot. The signatures have to be submitted by early August, according to Rick Ridder, of Denver-based RBI Strategies and Research.

The campaign plans to partner with local farmers, farmers markets, moms, faith-based organizations, natural, organic and non-GMO food retailers, and other health, sustainability and consumer advocacy organizations to gather the signatures needed.

“Coloradans have the right to know what is in their food, and to make purchasing decisions for their families based on knowing whether their foods are genetically engineered, and we believe they will have that opportunity after November,” said Larry Cooper, one of the proponents of the Right to Know Colorado initiative.

Voter approval of the measure would instantly reverse the balance of power for consumers, who currently have little choice when it comes to buying GMO foods. Without federal labeling requirements and a laiseez-faire regulatory climate, it’s estimated that more than 80 percentof conventional processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients, primarily from GMO corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beets and other GMO crops.

Some polling suggests that more than 90 percent of consumers support some form of GMO labeling — especially with emerging research showing their may be some health risks associated with consumption of some GMO foods.

More than 64 other countries require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered or GMO foods. Colorado joins more than two dozen other states, including Oregon, Arizona, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, in calling for GMO labeling legislation.

The grassroots campaign is built on the premise that consumers have a basic right to know what is in their food. The campaign gives Coloradans the opportunity to make informed decisions about their diet, health, and general lifestyle.

Food labels list and describe nearly every detailed component of the food product, from the caloric values and processing information, to the fat and protein content and the known allergens.

For more information visit www.righttoknowcolorado.org, or visit with the campaign on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RightToKnowColorado.

The language of the ballot question:

Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning labeling of genetically modified food; and, in connection therewith, requiring food that has been genetically modified or treated with genetically modified material to be labeled, “Produced With Genetic Engineering” starting on July 1, 2016; exempting some foods including but not limited to food from animals that are not genetically modified but have been fed or injected with genetically modified food or drugs, certain food that is not packaged for retail sale and is intended for immediate human consumption, alcoholic beverages, food for animals, and medically prescribed food; requiring the Colorado department of public health and environment to regulate the labeling of genetically modified food; and specifying that no private right of action is created for failure to conform to the labeling requirements?

And the Twitter storm:

  1. R. Taylor Raborn favorited some Tweets you were mentioned in
    3h:

    @mbeisen @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn Moral dilemma: smoking GMO pot.
  2. RT @bberwyn: I would argue there’s plenty of food in the world. It’s more about waste, overconsumption & distribution

  3. @bberwyn @kejames @mbeisen @geneticmaize Better approach? Voluntary labeling products “GMO-free”. Gives people choice w/o stupid lawsuits.

  4. Environment: Colorado Supreme Court OKs #GMO food labeling ballot initiative http://wp.me/pJ91e-gBz  via @bberwyn

  5. 53m
    Kellie Bauman retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    it’s about being able to wear an anti-#GMO button that tells your neighbors that you’re fighting the man @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

    Kellie Bauman

  6. 53m
    Kellie Bauman favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    it’s about being able to wear an anti-#GMO button that tells your neighbors that you’re fighting the man @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

    Kellie Bauman

  7. 1h
    Point Mutation retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
    2h:

    @bberwyn @kejames @mbeisen @geneticmaize fundamental question is whether regulatory labeling should be driven by science or peoples feelings

    Point Mutation

  8. 1h
    Jon Zobrist retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in

    Jon Zobrist

  9. 2h
    Todd Johnson favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    2h:

    @bberwyn @kejames @mbeisen @geneticmaize fundamental question is whether regulatory labeling should be driven by science or peoples feelings

    Todd Johnson

  10. @theapplefarmer @ianholmes @mbeisen @bberwyn @geneticmaize I would prefer labels w/ pesticide (etc.) applications, food miles, water usage…

  11. 2h
    Garrett Frampton retweeted some Tweets you were mentioned in
    10h:

    so that people can feel good, driving their Prius’s and eating organic acai while the planet burns @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn
  12. @bberwyn @ianholmes @kejames @geneticmaize that’s bullshit – most GMO labeling organizations are explicitly in favor of bans

  13. 2h
    Timothy Vollmer favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    the #GMO labeling movement, like much of the “lefty” agenda in America today narcissistic and lazy @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

    Timothy Vollmer

  14. @bberwyn @kejames @mbeisen @geneticmaize fundamental question is whether regulatory labeling should be driven by science or peoples feelings

  15. @bberwyn @kejames @mbeisen @geneticmaize well, why not label all use of tech? Drop the nutritional stuff to make room, no-one cares abt that

  16. @bberwyn @mbeisen @geneticmaize I’m more concerned about wasted human energy and science illiteracy than the actual result of these votes.

  17. Nor did the world end when Bush banned federally funded stem cell research. Why not ban all tech? @bberwyn @kejames @mbeisen @geneticmaize

  18. @kejames @mbeisen @geneticmaize @bberwyn Careful, controlled feeding studies prove GMO safety. Name me a careful, controlled climate study

  19. 3h
    Seán Kelly retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
    9h:

    @kejames @geneticmaize @mbeisen @bberwyn all food is genetically modified. We did it, a long time ago

    Seán Kelly

  20. 3h
    Ruth Hufbauer favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    11h:

    More & more I’m seeing these campaigns as dangerous distractions from big, real threats like climate change. @geneticmaize @mbeisen @bberwyn

    Ruth Hufbauer

  21. @mbeisen So what do we do to get people to let go of GMOs and put their time & energy into important causes? @geneticmaize @bberwyn

  22. 3h
    mcdonna retweeted some Tweets you were mentioned in
    10h:

    the #GMO labeling movement, like much of the “lefty” agenda in America today narcissistic and lazy @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn
  23. 3h
    Drug Monkey retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    so that people can feel good, driving their Prius’s and eating organic acai while the planet burns @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

    Drug Monkey

  24. 5h
    Chris Jones retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
    11h:

    More & more I’m seeing these campaigns as dangerous distractions from big, real threats like climate change. @geneticmaize @mbeisen @bberwyn

    Chris Jones

  25. 5h
    Patricia Johnson favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    it’s about being able to wear an anti-#GMO button that tells your neighbors that you’re fighting the man @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

    Patricia Johnson

  26. 6h
    mary williams favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    so that people can feel good, driving their Prius’s and eating organic acai while the planet burns @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

    mary williams

  27. 6h
    Jonathan Frederick favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    the #GMO labeling movement, like much of the “lefty” agenda in America today narcissistic and lazy @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

    Jonathan Frederick

  28. 7h
    John Orr retweeted you
    11h:

    Rocky Mountain wildflower season has lengthened by a month since the 1970s: http://bit.ly/OAlDVU  #climatechange pic.twitter.com/VUdnZi5snt

    John Orr

  29. 8h
    Damian Mayhew favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    16h:

    You know it’s cold when…eh?! MT @bberwyn: When the air is frozen, sundogs add texture to the sky pic.twitter.com/cKq3H2MZzO #FriFotos

    Damian Mayhew

  30. @kejames @geneticmaize @mbeisen @bberwyn There are enough nut jobs for every issue out there. Just some issues are populated wholly by them.

  31. 9h
    Marc RobinsonRechavi retweeted some Tweets you were mentioned in
    10h:

    so that people can feel good, driving their Prius’s and eating organic acai while the planet burns @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn
  32. 9h
    Gaurav Vaidya retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
    9h:

    @kejames @geneticmaize @mbeisen @bberwyn all food is genetically modified. We did it, a long time ago

    Gaurav Vaidya

  33. 9h
    lizzy favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    the #GMO labeling movement, like much of the “lefty” agenda in America today narcissistic and lazy @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

    lizzy

  34. 10h
    Sigrid Neuhauser favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    so that people can feel good, driving their Prius’s and eating organic acai while the planet burns @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

    Sigrid Neuhauser

  35. 10h
    A.S. Paul favorited some Tweets you were mentioned in
    10h:

    it’s about being able to wear an anti-#GMO button that tells your neighbors that you’re fighting the man @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn
  36. @mbeisen @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn had lot of friends like that, dedicate 5min to whatevr cause is hot that week, pat selves on back

  37. 10h
    Michael Eisen favorited some Tweets you were mentioned in
    10h:

    @mbeisen @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn or while people starve.
  38. 10h
    Michael Eisen retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    @mbeisen @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn I would’ve said bungling into causes with a haughty, self-aggrandizing sense of making a difference

    Michael Eisen

  39. @mbeisen @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn I would’ve said bungling into causes with a haughty, self-aggrandizing sense of making a difference

  40. 10h
    David Dilworth retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
    10h:

    the #GMO labeling movement, like much of the “lefty” agenda in America today narcissistic and lazy @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

    David Dilworth

  41. 10h
    BO retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
    11h:

    More & more I’m seeing these campaigns as dangerous distractions from big, real threats like climate change. @geneticmaize @mbeisen @bberwyn

    BO

  42. so that people can feel good, driving their Prius’s and eating organic acai while the planet burns @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

  43. it’s about being able to wear an anti-#GMO button that tells your neighbors that you’re fighting the man @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

  44. the #GMO labeling movement, like much of the “lefty” agenda in America today narcissistic and lazy @kejames @geneticmaize @bberwyn

  45. @cartoon_physics @geneticmaize @mbeisen @bberwyn Yep. It’d be much better to focus on bad ethical behavior by corporations than on GMOs.

  46. @kejames @geneticmaize @mbeisen @bberwyn Not to mention making it more difficult to have talks about things like gene ownership in crops

  47. 11h
    Daniel Loxton favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    11h:

    More & more I’m seeing these campaigns as dangerous distractions from big, real threats like climate change. @geneticmaize @mbeisen @bberwyn

    Daniel Loxton

  48. 11h
    Aaron retweeted some Tweets you were mentioned in
    11h:

    Uh oh, here we go again. cc @geneticmaize @mbeisen MT @bberwyn CO voters may get chance to vote on #GMO labeling: http://bit.ly/1gBF0UU 
  49. 11h
    Aaron favorited a Tweet you were mentioned in
    11h:

    Uh oh, here we go again. cc @geneticmaize @mbeisen MT @bberwyn CO voters may get chance to vote on #GMO labeling: http://bit.ly/1gBF0UU 

    Aaron

  50. More & more I’m seeing these campaigns as dangerous distractions from big, real threats like climate change. @geneticmaize @mbeisen @bberwyn

  51. Uh oh, here we go again. cc @geneticmaize @mbeisen MT @bberwyn CO voters may get chance to vote on #GMO labeling: http://bit.ly/1gBF0UU 

  52. 11h
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2 Responses

  1. Why is there no input from alternative viewpoints in this article? I hope there is no pretense that this is anything but advocacy for the initiative.

  2. […] Environment: Colorado Supreme Court OKs GMO food labeling ballot initiative | Summit County Citizens…. […]

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